Showing posts from September, 2015

Time to Bring Public Policy and Social Media Together for Progress

I've had a great summer, much of it spent off the grid unplugged from email, tapping into social media for fun. It's been great connecting on a more personal level with family and friends in real time talking, laughing, crying, sharing, hugging.

Thinking back to when Facebook arrived on the scene in February 2004: I was slow to adopt. I signed up eventually and connected to family and local friends. When Twitter followed in March 2006, I decided I was not going to try to keep up with yet another platform. Not so for businesses, corporations, institutions, and the like. Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook opened up a whole new world of marketing strategy for them.

"We don't have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it." ~ Erik Qualman
After being accepted in 2011 into a 6-month program for women interested in pursuing political office, I was introduced to Twitter and quickly grew to enjoy it. I set myself up on LinkedIn later that same y…

Back to School

I'll admit to being more than a little misty-eyed when I saw our youngest head off for the first day of school for this, her senior year. She works hard and has faced many academic challenges in her K-12 experience thus far, showing resilience and strength of character in facing them. She follows two older brothers, now college grads, and though she is still on the journey, in many ways just beginning, I couldn't be more proud.

We know families play essential roles in student success, beginning with their critical role in children's school readiness. Children depend on all of us to support their development everywhere they learn: at home, in PreK programs, in school, afterschool programs, in faith-based institutions, in community-based programs and activities. Engagement is continuous across a child’s life and entails enduring commitment but changing parent roles as children mature into young adulthood.

Researchers describe effective family involvement as a shared responsibi…

Public Testimony

On June 11, 2015, Massachusetts Joint Committee on Education held a public hearing on several bills related to testing in K-12 public schools. I was unable to attend the hearing in person, but did submit testimony in support of H.340: An Act relative to a moratorium on high stakes testing and PARCC.

A panel assembled to speak in opposition of the bill included representatives from the Executive Office, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and Board of ESE, in the persons of: Secretary of Education Jim Peyser, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell Chester, Board of ESE Chair Paul Sagan, and a former Board of ESE member Jeff Howard. (Where available, I've linked each person's name to their testimony).
Note that at no time before or after the public hearing did BESE discuss any of the bills.

My testimony below.
Members of the Joint Committee on Education The Honorable Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, co-chair The Honorable Representative Alice Hanlon Pei…